Cats seem to be drawn to Christmas trees, whether to play with the dangling ornaments or to climb up in the branches, they can be persistent. This is a guide about keeping cats out of the Christmas tree.
I have been dealing with my year old kitty climbing into and knocking over my Christmas tree until I came up with this idea!
I blew up balloons and added them to the tree!
It stopped her from jumping into it again, so now I can finish decorating it, but I think I will still leave some in the tree, just in case.
We have a 2 year old cat we adopted on April of this year. This will be her first Christmas with us. How can we keep her from getting into the tree? I tried one suggestion where you put bells on the branches and the noise is suppose to scare her away. But this didn't work. Are there any other methods I can use to keep her off the tree?
By Linda from Brighton, MI
I have 3 cats. Two of them just sniff the tree, chew on the branches a little and end up sleeping under it. The 3rd one, however, is a totally different story. Lizzie is 3 years old and climbs the tree every chance she gets! Sometimes she flattens out a spot about 2/3 of the way up and sleeps there! I have no choice but to anchor the tree to the wall.
They always get into the tree, don't they? My first little tuxedo girl was eager to bat at the fragile shiny balls and broke 3 right away. My big old tuxedo tomcat would sleep in the lower branches as a kitten. My old grey tomcat would tug the strings of beads all out of place. I gave up and put a smaller tree atop the big screen tv. Then I put a 5 foot tree in the window of a room they are disallowed from entering full of holiday and craft supplies. Then I tried a half a tree in the hall way. This works the best although it could use more branches on it! My need for a Christmas tree is fulfilled and the cats never can reach it on the door or wall.
Half trees seem like an odd idea, like an upside down tree, but it turns out nice, although I can't seem to get enough ornaments on it. Us humans are satisfied. Another idea is to make the cats their own tree with shiny plastic ornaments that looks like the real thing and no tinsel or icicles, bead strings ok! Also decorate with bright and colorful cat toys.
I will never give up on Christmas and cats will never give up going for the ornaments.
Our cats like to sleep on the skirt that surrounds the bottom of the tree. In the past though I did have a couple of cats that caused a little damage, but the little damage was a keepsake ornament from
a much loved Grandmother. I put slightly crumpled aluminum foil around the bottom of the tree and it looked like a beautiful pond that was frozen. The cats hated to step on it because of the noise.
Put a small tree up for your cat, maybe 3 feet. It's really dependent on the room you have but remember cats want something to climb. Hang some low hanging ornaments from the bottom of his own kind (meaning safe cat toys) with a few filled with catnip. You may want to anchor the cat's tree to the wall or ceiling to prevent tipping over as you will expect the cat to be playing/climbing in it.
All the while, put aluminum foil around your own Christmas tree as if it were a tree skirt. Usually cats don't like the way it feels to walk on aluminum foil. Also cover the water dish (if it's a real tree), and cover the trunk of your tree. Continue to spray your tree and around your tree with repelling cat scents: citrus or diluted vinegar daily or place orange and lemon peels in tree. There are also cat repellents you can buy at the pet store. If lights have been added, use common sense with this, spraying around tree only and unplug power first.
Each time the cat goes to the tree, yell "NO!" firmly as you clap your hands then redirect him to his own tree. What cat could resist a tree of his own toys hanging?
As for presents, get some large boxes and Christmas cloth. Cover the boxes as you would wrap a present, leaving the fabric at the top loose. Put your wrapped presents down into these boxes, gather and tie with large ribbon. To add more, just untie, open, add the presents, gather again and retie until box is full, then go to your next box.
Hope this helps someone. Have a Merry Christmas!
We have always had cats and they have a tendency to want to explore the Christmas tree. We got around that by using an abundance of bells on the lower limbs to serve as an early warning device. When we heard the bells we knew to pay close attention or deflect trouble before it happened.
By Shelly from Spring Hill, KS
My cat doesn't like the smell of citrus. I take the tree shaped car deodorizer, orange scent, and hang them from the bottom branches.
Is there any product either homemade or store bought, that will keep pets away from the Christmas tree?
How do you keep some energetic puppies who like to chew up furniture away from the Christmas tree?
I still favor putting a few ballons in the tree. The kitten or cat pops just one ballon and he's guaranteed to stay away from the tree :)
My cat doesn't like the smell of citrus. I bought the car Christmas tree shaped air fresheners, orange scented, and hung them on the lower branches where you can't see them. They kept her from bothering the tree of nesting in it.
This is our first year having a cat at Christmas. I left the cat in the room when I was putting up the tree and she had done just fine. Now Butter likes to get under the tree and sit and she will eat the tinsel we have on the tree. I did not put more tinsel on the tree. It has the ones left from last year. How do I get her to not eat the tinsel?
By Jeanei B
Yes, don't use tinsel. Stuff is messy anyway.
Years ago our cat ate tinsel off the Christmas tree & a few days later, died of lead poisoning. The vet said it was a painful death for our cat. I don't know if they make tinsel with lead in it anymore, but PLEASE don't let your pets eat it! Tinsel is long strings & it could get caught inside your pet, I would think. Get wrapped around things. Please, be cautious!
You can try spraying some of the "no scratch" spray that they have for cats. It's the smell that they hate. Spray it on your tree. Or at least the bottom. If that doesn't work you're going to have to keep the cat blocked off from the tree. Put the cat in a different area of the house and shut a door until Christmas is over.
I have a problem. This is my kitty's first Christmas and we're trying to put up the tree but she just won't leave it alone! We can't get her to stay away from the tree no matter what we do. I don't want to "not" have a tree but is there anything we can do? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
(I do like this picture, I'm glad I was able to capture it.)
Stacey from Orem, UT
Here is my solution. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.
Awesome! Thank you all for your suggestions. I sprayed apple cider vinegar around the tree and some of the lower branches. Darla and Toby hate it. Yay! Tree in tact and beautiful!
How do I keep my cats away from the Christmas tree? The tree is fake. My kittens climb in the tree, chew the branches and go potty below. Is there something I can spray or a way I can teach them? Thanks in advance.
Heather from Swanton, VT
Oh my, that last post about the loud motion toy was funny!
I think this year, since we have two new kittens in the home which love to be up high, I will just let it all happen and keep my nice ornaments in the boxes in the closets, and go buy me a good used video/digital cam and make some money with the videos!
I had my own Christmas tree lots for 10 years. People always came in with "can you solve this?" questions. This was a problem that was a lot of fun and more beautiful than you could ever dream. I would cut the bottom flat and attach a hook, hang it upside down, flock lightly and add a little color and bling, with decorations and lights just like out of a story book. I even hung one coming down the wrap around stairway. Just make sure you match the ceiling with the size of the tree, not too large. (12/11/2008)
By double d
I have success using citronella oil sprayed or wiped around surfaces you want to keep kitty-free! They don't like the smell. I have heard eucalyptus oil and Vicks VapoRub are also good. You do need to reapply. My cats just love using our Christmas tree as a new ladder between upstairs and down! Sadly, most of our ornaments didn't survived the cats' first Christmas. We just have some simple tinsel now. (12/11/2008)
I have 5 cats. Three ignore the tree. One got stuck in it last year during Christmas dinner and cried until I pulled him out! The kitten is fascinated.
This year, what I did was put the tree up and lights and left it alone for a full week. The naughty 2 have climbed it, sniffed it and now ignore it. So tomorrow I will put the ornaments on it.
Many years ago, a friend gave me a tip of putting Jean Nate oil, I guess it's bath oil, on cotton balls inside and around the tree. Cats hate the scent and stay away. It did work for me that year. You have to redo it every few days.
The orange peel would work too.
If kitties are using the area beneath the tree as a litter box (saw in another post) then spray the area with vinegar and water. It won't hurt them and they don't like the scent. You could pick up in a pet supply store some double sided tape and put under tree as well. It is also great for cats scratching furniture.
Some of those ideas sound like great ways to keep them away and I will be trying them. I put my tree in front of the window, and just as an extra measure of insurance, I have teacup hooks under each side of the window sill. I take jute twine and run it from one side, wrap completely around the trunk, and then tether to the other side. At least if it gets climbed, it won't come down! (12/14/2008)
I have a problem. This is my kitty's first Christmas and we're trying to put up the tree, but she just won't leave it alone. We can't get her to stay away from the tree no matter what we do. I don't want to "not" have a tree but is there anything we can do? Any advice will be greatly appreciated. (Solution shown)
You can do what my mom did for us kids...took us out of the playpen and put the tree IN it! You may want to forgo the dangling ornaments and just do lights and garland, less temptation for a kitty :) (11/11/2007)
Put your tree up as early as you can but with no lights and no ornaments. Keep it up this way for a week or more. Play with your kitty, discourage her when she goes to climb it, reward her when she comes to you and ignores the tree. When she gets more comfortable with the tree, add lights and ornaments. Do not use any precious ornaments or breakable glass ornaments just yet. Keep up the training to make her ignore the tree. Use a spray bottle of water on her, only if needed.
If she is not destructive to the tree, but still wants to climb it, attach an eye hook to the ceiling and anchor your tree top with fishing line. Better than the tree coming down on you and kitty. Do not use tinsel (the type that comes in fine strands like Easter grass). It is too tempting for your cat to eat and can cause anything from intestinal distress to death. After all that you can try pepper sauce on the trunk - although I had a cat who loved it! (11/11/2007)
My girlfriend has 5 cats. She ties jingle bells to the bottom of the tree. Another uses Ben-Gay at the base of the tree. Happy Holidays. Keeper in NC. (11/12/2007)
My way of keeping my two cats out of the Christmas tree is not to put one up this year. It is a nightmare for me and I am tired of constantly spraying them with my water bottle, so no tree. Bad kitties..lol (11/12/2007)
I put my tree up in front of the window. I put small eye hooks underneath each corner of the window sill and run a cord from one hook, around the trunk twice and then attach to the other hook. If I don't tether it to the wall, it will come down when someone decides to climb it! (11/12/2007)
By Lynn Beth
The ONLY thing that worked for me was to spray around the trunk of the tree every night with a spray that is meant to keep animals off furniture. It has an odor that is not pleasant, but doesn't last long. It worked for my cats.
Mine didn't seem to bother the tree during the day, but really had fun at night with it after I went to bed. Good luck. By the way, forget the playpen. Cats just jump over it. (11/12/2007)
No experience with Christmas cats but much experience with a big, clumsy dog. In honor of his first holiday season, I bought a fake tree. If we'd put up our usual cut one, he'd have been quite pleased about the new water bowl and the big stick we'd conveniently put up in the living room for him.
I bought a 6 ft tree and used its short stature as an excuse to buy a good one with a high tip count and enough lights to land aircraft by. I elevate it a foot off the floor, giving it enough height with the stand and trunk to slow him down. I use one of those cheap, 2 drawer stacking Formica units from Target for the base. I take the handles off and lay it on the floor, drawer side down. It's a foot deep and big enough to hold the stand with room to spare. I cover it with a cloth, put the tree on that, and then a tree skirt. Leaves me short 2 small drawers in my closet for a while but it works better than anything else we tried. The drawers give it extra stability.
That same December, I found bead garlands covered with bells on an early 1/2 price sale. I bought 4 of them and they go up every year. If Leo (the dog) gets too close when he's leaping around, I hear the bells and yell loud enough to rattle the windows.
We can't put paper wrapped packages under the tree or Leo will open them as soon as we turn our backs. He's got a thing for paper. Every year I buy more cheap holiday fabric for wrapping and use it over and over. I've also made up some bags with fabric glue, I'm sewing challenged, and they seem to be indestructible. No tall cut trees or paper wrap, but one fine black lab/bassett mix. (11/12/2007)
By Miz Lou
Good luck. We've always had cats and they just love Christmas trees! It's usually the young cats who take on the tree, but sometimes the older ones like to become part of the decorations too. Don't put fragile ornaments, tinsel, or strung popcorn on the tree. The ornaments will be broken and get into paws and fur; they'll swallow the tinsel and end up in the vets and they'll play with and eat the popcorn, and I hate to tell you what that'll do with their insides. I like the idea of Ben Gay and the playpen. Wish I'd thought of it long ago. (11/12/2007)
Don't use breakable ornaments! (11/12/2007)
I use a squirt gun (11/12/2007)
Get some tangerines, peel them then put them and the peels on plates. Put the plates under the tree. Cats hate the smell of tangerines and will usually stay away. You can also rub vinegar on the doorstep to the room that the tree is in, that's another smell cats don't like. Here's another idea you can try: a friend cut a branch off her tree and put it in a pot. She put the pot as far away from the tree as she could. She put some of the cat's toys in the pot too. The cat quickly stood guard over "her tree" and left the other one alone. (11/12/2007)
I use a water spray bottle...not that Stewie seems to care as you can see from this picture! He just waits for me to walk away. It is a really long season! I concede and hang the breakable ornaments higher on the tree! (11/13/2007)
Get one of those noisy toys that start up with motion. Someone lent me one once with my kitten, it was a dog. I put it under the tree and when the kitten went near, the dog would bark. It only took 4 times and the kitten would stay right away from tree. Sometimes he would go lay across the room and look at the dog. It was comical. (11/19/2007)